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UC Personal Statement on Depression and Cross Country

diebysenioritis 7 / 17 7  
Nov 29, 2012   #1
I'm about ready to submit apps and this essay needs a final glance. It should be grammatically sound but feel free to make suggestions. Thanks so much!

Please answer: Does this essay answer the prompt? What have you learned about the author after reading this? Is this essay UC worthy?

Prompt 2
Tell us about a personal quality, talent, accomplishment, contribution or experience that is important to you. What about this quality or accomplishment makes you proud and how does it relate to the person you are?

As a cross country runner, I can no longer register the words "run" and "Forrest" shouted in succession. But it wasn't always so. The jeer seems fitting given my own similarities. I was especially tall for my age, quiet, and unassuming - the epitomized high school freshman. Like others, I was looking to fulfill my underdeveloped sense of worth and, like others, often let my vulnerabilities get the better of me. Unlike others, I was running on my own double-dose of inadequacy, chemicals that nearly got the better of me.

Maybe I was overly sensitive. My narcissistic teen-self wanted to be validated in its own reflection: the showering approval and praise of others. And, when refused, so turned hatefully inward. Or maybe it was the Accutane acne medication I was prescribed, the failed brain cancer therapy drug turned convenient which I so willingly signed my own suicide waiver for. Whatever the cause, the effects were the same, a bitter resentment for myself and everything around it.

The heart-pounding anxiety of the starting line, when coupled with my own self-degradation, proved impossible to manage. I would rather drown in my shallow self-pity than contend it. Exertion to the point of collapse seemed incredibly appealing; to be martyred in bright racing short-shorts and leave society to blame. Such thoughts might consume me on my early morning runs along the cliffs. In the fog, the invisible waves below were heard but not seen and, so easily, I could take a step and become invisible too. But I was too lost in the euphoria of the run, too detached; my pounding heart rate was louder than whatever absurdities and trite opinions my own vanity could think.

With the ground flying beneath me, I was apart from my own worrisome ego. The miles lent Zen-like clarity and I could finally recognize my own credulousness. Instead of concerning myself with the opinions of others, I would reflect on my last races, failings, and learn from them - I would get to know myself. Gradually, whether by maturity or the treatments end, I became comfortable with myself, running in my own skin. Delicately, I branched out, getting comfortable with the team as they did to me.

Four years later, it is all still a work-in-progress. The scars the medication left on my arms remind me both of that terrible first year and how far I've come, and not just in mileage. Now, I'm a team captain. In our coach's absence, we trained our underclassmen this summer. The freshmen's readiness when I address them and the faith they give never ceases to amaze me. How could they trust me? But when I hear the competence of my own voice, I know I can act a little more self-assuredly. My introversive nature is, ironically, what gives me confidence. I'll solve my own struggles one step at a time.
mrkrishan 2 / 15 3  
Nov 29, 2012   #2
I thought I read this earlier and I was confused if those scars on your arms meant cuts or marks from the medication, good job clearing that up. Or was that someone else's essay which also talked about accutane, cross country, and depression o.o
OP diebysenioritis 7 / 17 7  
Nov 29, 2012   #3
It probably was me. I hope it's not anybody else. I thought I was unique!

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